Greetings, Shredderz! Today’s post is a bit of departure from what you might have come to expect from this blog in that it’s not about vintage surfboards, for once. Instead, I’ll be taking a quick peek at the market for vintage Rainbow fins.
I do my best to put a decent amount of research into my blog, but for this post, I’ll just come out and say it: I’m not sure why vintage Rainbow fins command such high prices. Rainbow Fin Company continues to operate today, based out of Santa Cruz. Coincidentally, Rainbow Fin co is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary in 2018.
I wish I had more to share on the exact reasons why vintage Rainbow fins are so coveted, but one thing is clear: these things are gorgeous. The examples that get the highest prices have multiple layers of fiberglass and stunning colors. Here’s a selection of recent vintage Rainbow fin sales from eBay with their prices:
Vintage Rainbow Fin #1: 7.5″, $237.50 (eBay)
This is the same fin featured at the top of the page, and as you can see, it is an absolute beauty. I can’t quite tell if the color at the right-most edge of the fin is a purplish shade or more of a brown, but either way the feeling I get from looking at this thing is Cherry Coke. Take that how you will. This bad boy went for $237.50 plus another $10 in shipping.
Vintage Rainbow Fin #2: 6″, $237.06 (eBay)
Here’s another stunner. I love the multiple layers in this one — looks like there are five distinct layers of fiberglass (blue / white / green / white / yellow), as opposed to the more straightforward three layers in the one directly above. This is shorter than the first fin, but the price is almost exactly the same, even down to the shipping.
Vintage Rainbow Fin #3: 7.5″, $261.78 (eBay)
This one is the most expensive fin on the list. Personally, I don’t love the color combo, but I can see the appeal of it.
Vintage Rainbow Fin #4: 8″, $175 (eBay)
This vintage Rainbow fin is a bit cheaper than the other ones featured in the post. If I had to take a wild guess, it would be the colors. This one is a bit darker and more subdued than the other fins featured in the post, although this reason could be total nonsense. As for me, I happen to really dig the blue on blue color scheme.
Based on the examples above, a quality vintage Rainbow fin in good condition is going to cost you a minimum of $200 or so (and that’s being conservative). Granted, this is a pretty small sample size, and there are tons of other examples on eBay if you want to do some more digging yourself. I was also curious to see one fin with a so-so color scheme (in my opinion) and some obvious wear and tear, that still managed to sell for $86, not including shipping.
I hope to revisit the topic of vintage Rainbow fins soon, with some more details around the early days of the brand and why these examples from the Seventies get such high prices. In the meantime, I hope you find this post informative and enjoyable to read!